The Truth About Cat Island. Should You Visit This Feline Paradise?


Cat Island is an island located in the central Bahamas. With its pristine beaches, excellent fishing and diving opportunities, and laid back atmosphere, it has become a popular tourist destination. However, some travelers have expressed concerns about the safety of Cat Island, particularly regarding crime levels, health care access, infrastructure, and potential risks from weather disasters.

This article provides a comprehensive look at Cat Island to help travelers evaluate if it is safe for them to visit. It will examine factors like crime statistics, health care facilities, transportation options, weather patterns, tourism infrastructure, and safety tips from experienced travelers and locals. The goal is to objectively assess Cat Island’s safety based on available data and resources.

Location and Geography

Cat Island is located in the central Bahamas, about 150 miles southeast of Nassau and 130 miles east of Miami, Florida. The island is part of the District of Cat Island in the Bahamas (Cat Island, Bahamas – Wikipedia).

Cat Island is 48 miles long and spans an area of 156 square miles, making it one of the largest islands in the Bahamas. The island features lush forests, rolling hills, wetlands, creeks, and mangrove swamps. Mount Alvernia, also known as Como Hill, is the highest point in the Bahamas at 206 feet above sea level (Cat Island – The Bahamas Guide).

Other key geographic features include orange creek, dickies road, the big blue hole, dinosaur beach, and the hermitage monastery. The island has several natural harbors as well as inland lakes and wetlands.

Infrastructure and Services

Cat Island has basic infrastructure and services available, though they are fairly limited compared to more populated islands in the Bahamas. Electricity is provided via diesel generators, though outages can occur during storms or other disruptions. There is limited internet connectivity, primarily through 3G mobile networks. Some areas have satellite internet, but speeds are slow. Mobile phone coverage is available in the main towns but can be spotty in rural areas.

The island’s main settlement, Arthur’s Town, does have a small hospital and clinic, though serious medical care requires transport to Nassau. There is a police station in Arthur’s Town and a few officers patrol the island, but major crime is rare. Fire service is volunteer-based. There are a handful of small grocery stores, but supplies can be limited. Tourists should plan accordingly and bring any medications or specialty items they may need.

Overall the infrastructure on Cat Island reflects its small population and remoteness from more developed islands. Services are basic but meet local needs. Visitors should not expect the level of infrastructure found on bigger tourism destinations in the Bahamas. Being prepared and self-sufficient is advised.


Crime Levels

Cat Island is known for having very low crime rates compared to other Bahamian islands. According to locals, violent crime is extremely rare on Cat Island. Most reports indicate that petty theft does occasionally occur, often associated with the drug trade, but even that is uncommon (Oyster). Crime levels on Cat Island are significantly lower than on more populated Bahamian islands like Nassau or Grand Bahama, which do deal with higher rates of crime. According to statistics from the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Cat Island had only 2 robberies and 8 burglaries reported in 2019, compared to 1084 robberies and 2710 burglaries in Nassau that same year. The low population density and isolated nature of Cat Island likely contribute to the minimal crime rates.

Health and Medical Care

Cat Island has limited medical services available. There are a few small clinics and health centers scattered across the island that provide basic care. The main clinic is the Bight Community Clinic in the town of New Bight, which is open Monday-Friday and staffed by nurses and a visiting doctor (The Bight Community Clinic). Services are limited to non-emergency care, basic testing, and stabilization for transport to Nassau if needed. There are a few other tiny clinics like the one in Orange Creek (Clinics).

Given the minimal medical infrastructure, travelers with chronic health conditions or at risk for medical emergencies should exercise caution. Evacuation to Nassau can take hours given the remote location. Visitors are advised to purchase travel insurance that includes emergency medical evacuation. Other health risks on Cat Island are similar to other Caribbean destinations – mosquito-borne illnesses, jellyfish stings, sun exposure, dehydration, and basic injury. Overall the health risks are moderate, but the lack of advanced medical care is the main consideration.

Weather and Natural Disasters

Cat Island is located in the Atlantic hurricane belt, meaning it faces the risk of tropical storms and hurricanes especially during the hurricane season from June to November. According to, Cat Island’s historical tropical storm to hurricane ratio is 39% to 61%. However, the island is less frequently hit directly compared to other islands due to its southerly location.

The peak of hurricane season is August to October, when the chance of a hurricane is highest. But even during this period, the actual risk on any given day is still fairly low. Visitors should monitor weather reports and forecasts during hurricane season. If a storm forms, adequate time is usually provided to change travel plans or take shelter if needed.

Outside of hurricane season, the weather is generally pleasant and sunny year-round, with temperatures around 70–85°F. While the winters are slightly cooler and drier, and summers more hot and humid, significant storms are rare during the rest of the year.


Cat Island is served by the New Bight Airport, which offers multiple flights per day from Nassau on Bahamasair and other regional carriers like Western Air and Sky Bahamas ( There are also ferry and mail boat services that connect Cat Island to other islands like Eleuthera and Nassau.

Once on the island, getting around requires either a rental car, hiring a taxi, or taking the public bus. Rental cars give the most flexibility for exploring the island, while taxis like Cat Island Experience ( provide private transfers and tours. The public bus offers an affordable way to travel between the main villages.

Overall, transportation options on Cat Island are limited but relatively safe. Visitors should exercise normal caution as with travel anywhere, but there are no major safety concerns reported. Using reputable companies for flights, car rentals, and taxis is advised over more informal arrangements.

Tourism Infrastructure

Cat Island offers a variety of accommodations, restaurants, and activities that are safe for tourists to enjoy. There are several hotels and resorts located throughout the island that have received excellent reviews on sites like TripAdvisor, Agoda, and Some of the top-rated options include the Rollezz Villas Beach Resort [1], Pigeon Cay Beach Club [1], Fernandez Bay Village [1], and Shannas Cove Resort [1]. These hotels offer clean, comfortable accommodations ranging from beachfront villas to more budget-friendly motel rooms.

There are also several good restaurant options on Cat Island like Da Spot, Sammy T’s, and Island Breeze. These restaurants get positive feedback for serving delicious local Bahamian dishes in a laidback island atmosphere. Many hotels also have their own restaurants or beach bars that provide casual dining right onsite.

In terms of activities, Cat Island has a variety of options for tourists including fishing, boating, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, bird watching, biking, horseback riding, exploring caves, and more. Most hotels can arrange guided excursions and watersports rentals from experienced local operators. And the island’s natural beaches, blue holes, and coral reefs provide plenty of opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and exploration.

Overall, Cat Island offers all the key tourism infrastructure and services needed for a safe and enjoyable visit. While smaller and more laidback than busier islands like Nassau or Grand Bahama, Cat Island has top-rated hotels, good dining options, and lots of activities for nature-loving travelers.

Safety Tips

Cat Island is generally safe, but it’s always wise to take precautions when traveling to ensure peace of mind. Here are some tips for staying safe on Cat Island:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid deserted areas, especially at night.
  • Keep valuables secure and avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Check in with family and friends to let them know your itinerary.
  • Bring insect repellent, sun protection, and first aid supplies.
  • Only drink bottled water and be cautious with food to avoid illness.
  • Swim only on patrolled beaches and be aware of undertows and riptides.
  • Monitor weather reports closely and seek shelter if a storm approaches.
  • Ensure you have travel insurance in case of emergency medical treatment.
  • Follow local laws, customs and advice to avoid any trouble.
  • Stay sober and avoid risky activities to prevent injuries.

By using common sense and taking basic precautions, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to Cat Island.


Cat Island is a relatively safe place to visit overall. Like any destination, visitors should take normal precautions for travel safety. The crime rate is low, health care facilities meet basic needs, and infrastructure caters well to tourism. Natural disasters rarely impact the area. While transportation options are somewhat limited, the main tourist zones have adequate services.

With proper planning and awareness, Cat Island can be enjoyed with minimal safety risks. Travelers should research transportation schedules, carry appropriate medical and evacuation insurance, avoid isolated areas without guides, respect local laws and customs, monitor weather reports, and follow other standard safety tips. By taking sensible precautions, visitors can fully immerse themselves in Cat Island’s natural beauty and local culture.

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